Are you looking for the best air quality monitor for your home?
But you’re not sure which one to pick?
If so, this guide is for you.
With a good indoor air quality monitor, you can get accurate readings of various pollutants in the home and instantly know whether you can breathe easy or need to take action to clean the air.
As you’ll discover below, the best indoor air quality monitors on the market can detect allergens, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, ozone, mold spores, PM2.5, radon, VOCs, and more.
And our air quality monitor reviews will help you narrow down your search for the best home air quality monitor for your needs.
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Air Quality Monitors Reviewed in this Guide
Here’s a quick comparison chart showing the top air quality monitors. We’ll cover each aspect of these units in the reviews section below, but this gives you an idea of what’s available and an easy way to compare them.
|Airthings Wave Plus Air Quality Monitor||Check Price|
|Airthings Wave Mini Air Quality Monitor||Check Price|
|Awair Element Air Quality Monitor||Check Price|
|uHoo Brand Air Quality Monitor||Check Price|
|Huma-i (H1-150) Air Quality Monitor||Check Price|
|Temtop M10 Air Quality Monitor||Check Price|
|Temtop M2000 Air Quality Monitor||Check Price|
|EG Brand Air Quality Monitor||Check Price|
|ECOWITT WHO0290 Air Quality Monitor||Check Price|
Best Air Quality Monitor List
The best air quality monitor overall is the Airthings Wave Plus, which has won multiple awards for its innovation.
With six powerful sensors in one device, you can get to know the radon levels, VOCs, carbon dioxide (CO2), humidity, temperature, and air pressure in your house.
And these readings give you a much clearer insight into the air quality inside your home.
You can also use the app on a smartphone or tablet to read your results quickly. Each pollutant has its own tab and makes you aware of what your readings mean.
This indoor air quality monitor is incredibly easy to use as well. All you have to do is wave your hand in front of it for a colored indicator of how the air quality is currently measuring. Red is poor, yellow is fair, and green is good.
You can use the Airthings Wave Plus alongside popular smart home devices such as Alexa and Google Assistant to make it even easier to use and effective for your life.
Plus, this home air quality monitor works with batteries so you can take it with you where you go without having to worry about finding an electrical outlet.
Finally, Airthings offers a 12-month warranty from the date of purchase to protect your purchase from any mishaps.
The Airthings Wave Mini is a budget-friendly alternative to the best indoor air quality monitor reviewed above.
With three sensors to detect the VOCs, humidity, and temperature in your house, the Airthings Wave Mini is a great little indoor air quality monitor. Once the sensors detect a level that is too high, it will inform you so that you can ventilate the room better.
Volatile Organic Compounds are pollutants that come from everyday materials such as paints, children’s toys, and plastics. And many people overlook these pollutants that can lead to irritation.
The Airthings Mini Wave can also protect your home from mold growth by alerting you of high humidity levels and temperature, which is the perfect breeding ground for mold to replicate.
Similar to our #1 air quality monitor review, you can wave your hand in front of the unit for the same color-coded indicator as the Airthings Wave Plus boasts.
Again, this is a battery controlled air quality monitor so you don’t need to place it specifically in reach of an outlet.
And Airthings gives you the same level of satisfaction as our #1 best air quality monitor with a 12-month warranty to protect your purchase.
The Awair Element indoor air quality monitor was one of the first units to hit the market and continues to be one of the most popular brands for monitoring home air quality.
This unit monitors five different pollutants in the air, including humidity, temperature, VOCs, carbon dioxide (CO2), and particulate matter (PM2.5).
In an instant, you can gain valuable insight as to whether there are any dangerous levels of these contaminants in your home so that you can remedy it accordingly.
With the Wi-Fi app that links your smartphone to the air quality monitor, you can track the readings of every pollutant in real-time. There is no waiting for hours for readings, by which time the air quality will have likely changed.
The app also offers you feedback and helpful tips on how to reduce the pollutant levels and improve your home air quality without leaving it up to you to just figure it out.
The WiFi-connected Awair Element allows you to enhance its use even further by linking the device with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and other smart home services.
You can also place a separate Awair Element air quality monitor in different rooms of the home and connect them together inside the app. This lets you monitor the total air quality indoors without any hassle.
Awair is a well-known brand that has been around since 2013 and is highly regarded by a lot of its users as the best home air quality monitor for their needs. The brand is favored for their customer service and the top quality components.
As for warranty coverage, the Awair Element comes with 12-months of protection.
The uHoo indoor air quality monitor is unlike any other device we’ve seen before, and all of the technology used inside this unit is highly advanced.
As you’ll see below, it’s the best home air quality monitor with the most precision.
The uHoo can detect nine different pollutants in the air: PM2.5, VOCs, NO2 (nitrogen dioxide), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), humidity, temperature, and air pressure.
No other product has this level of precision. And a lot of these invisible irritants can severely affect your health, particularly if you’re already sensitive to them, so it’s a great benefit to have all of these readings in one place.
The nine precisely calibrated sensors send information directly to the connected app. You can then read the results from your favorite armchair or even when you’re miles away from home. With this air quality monitor, you’ll never be in the dark again.
The uHoo home air quality monitor syncs with other smart devices such as Alexa, Roomba, Nest, and IFTTT-compatible devices through the Wi-Fi connection. This allows the uHoo to act as the brains inside the home and then automatically schedule cleaning sessions and climate control around the clock for you.
One thing to note is that this device is only powered by an outlet cord and doesn’t have a battery compartment. Therefore, it’s meant to stay in one location in the house.
Portable air quality monitors are great for people who want to compare the air quality in different places.
These units can also help you to determine why and where your allergies are acting up the most, and how safe it is for you to spend prolonged periods of time in certain locations.
The Huma-i H1-150 is the best portable air quality monitor for this purpose with a compact size that’s small enough to fit right inside of your pocket. The exterior casing is strong and durable enough for you to be able to take the monitor out with you without worrying about damaging it.
Plus, you can use it both indoors and outdoors to compare readings everywhere you go.
This air quality monitor can detect VOCs, carbon dioxide, PM2.5, and PM10 (large particulate matter). It also shows you the temperature and humidity at a push of the button.
There’s no more waiting around for readings either as the Huma-i H1-150 gives you real-time right when you need them.
As an added convenience, you can choose to read the results in a graph mode or numeric mode on the OLED display.
The Temtop M10 is a small home air quality monitor that measures 3.23 x 1.22 x 3.23 inches. That’s smaller than half the width of an iPhone.
But don’t let the compact size fool you.
This air quality monitor measures some of the most toxic particles in the air, including PM2.5, VOCs, and HCHO (formaldehyde) thanks to the precise laser technology sensors and the Dart electrochemical sensor. It also reports the local AQI (air quality index).
As for controls, this unit has a single button for cycling through the different displays to get accurate and in-depth readings. But you can always upgrade to the Temtop M10i model that boasts Wi-Fi capabilities as well.
The M10i allows you to connect your smartphone to the unit and read results from there. All other features remain the same on this home air quality monitor.
A USB cord is included for recharging and gives you about 4 to 6 hours of use when it’s not plugged in.
All-in-all, you won’t find a more inexpensive and functional small indoor air quality monitor than this unit right here. And it will continue to rank on our best air quality monitor list as long as it’s available.
Handheld air quality monitors are a good choice for anyone who wants the freedom to walk around with their device to gauge the air quality in multiple areas.
You can easily take measurements from one room to another and the outdoors in order to get an overview of the concentration levels of various pollutants in the home or other location.
And Temtop offers one of the best handheld air quality monitors available: the M2000.
This unit can detect PM2.5 and PM10 (particulate matter), CO2 (carbon dioxide), HCHO (formaldehyde) as well as the temperature and humidity levels.
The small TFT display shows you everything you need to know too in the best format of your choice. You can see tracked pollutant levels as a visual graph or precise numbers.
What’s also nice is that there are no wires holding you back with Temtop M2000 because it uses batteries for power.
And since this is a professional-grade device, you can get quick customer support through email or over the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days per week should you have an issue with this handheld air quality monitor.
Last but not least in our air quality monitor reviews is this handheld device by the EG brand.
EG is a popular brand of air quality detectors and the company makes several different devices.
This model in particular ranks on our list because it can be used easily indoors and outdoors for accurate readings of the most common pollutants that affect human health.
The EG handheld air quality monitor uses a laser sensor along with an electrochemical semiconductor to detect HCHO (formaldehyde), VOCs, PM2.5, and PM10 in the air.
The colorful display shows you the current readings for each of those pollutants and changes color to quickly indicate if they’re at dangerous levels or not.
And while this handheld device is best used while walking around, it does include a flip out stand for you to leave it stationary in one location when you need to monitor the air quality over a longer period of time.
What’s also nice is that you can leave this air quality monitor powered on for two days straight without having to recharge it. (A USB charger is included.)
Finally, as an added bonus, the company includes a 20+ page eBook on gas and air quality hazards as a way to educate you on these topics to stay healthy.
A solar powered air quality monitor eliminates the need for electrical outlets or batteries because it draws its power from the sun. And the ECOWITT WHO0290 is the only unit we’ve discovered that offers such capabilities.
As a solar powered monitor, this device can be used in unlimited locations, including your home, car, office, and the outdoors. However, it does include a USB cord for portable charging when you need it.
The ECOWITT WHO0290 can provide accurate measurements for three things: PM2.5, temperature (°C/°F), and humidity. And while it’s one of the more basic home air quality monitors, this unit can still help you to find irregular patterns in the air quality.
There are six color-coded levels for the overall air quality that range from green to purple. At a quick glance you can tell if the air around you is good, moderate, poor, unhealthy, severe, or hazardous.
Another nice feature is that you can see how the air quality has changed over time. It displays readings for the last one hour, previous 24 hours, and since the last reset. This function allows you to make comparisons between the recorded measurements to find out if the quality of air is getting better or worse over time.
Indoor Air Quality Monitor Buying Guide
Now that you’ve finished reading our air quality monitor reviews, you may want to learn more about these devices.
Below is a helpful guide that covers every aspect of indoor air quality monitors.
You can use this information to gain additional knowledge on how these units work and the types of pollutants air quality monitors can detect in your home.
What is an Air Quality Monitor?
An air quality monitor is a device that measures the level of air pollutants. Air quality monitors are available for both indoor and outdoor settings and can detect PM2.5, PM10, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, VOCs, temperature, humidity, and air pressure.
An air quality monitor collects data on pollutants to show you what needs to be improved in an indoor or outdoor setting. The more in-depth your air quality monitor is, the easier it will be to determine what issues in the air require improvement.
Many people use home air quality monitors for different purposes, including to support their research studies, inform the general public about pollution levels, to measure indoor air quality at home, and to show a business whether they’re producing too much pollution or not.
How Does an Air Quality Monitor Work?
Air quality monitors work with lasers and sensors to detect pollutants in the air, such as particulate matter (PM2.5), VOCs, carbon monoxide, radon, etc. An air quality monitor can also work to measure the temperature, humidity, and air pressure.
Some air quality monitors offer the readings instantly while others can be programmed to record measurements in intervals.
And every air quality monitor works differently in the sense of the types of pollutants it can detect and how it can be used (via Wi-Fi or as a standalone visual unit).
Types of Home Air Quality Monitors
Portable Air Quality Monitors
Portable air quality monitors offer the most convenience for the user.
These units can be taken anywhere that you want to assess the air quality as no wires are tying you down.
Most portable air quality monitors display the readings on the device, giving you a simple way of reading the data it’s collected in a visual form.
Wi-Fi Smart Air Quality Monitors
Wi-Fi smart air quality monitors are connected to and controlled by your smartphone through an app.
Inside the app, you can read the data for every pollutant that’s detected. You can also check this data from anywhere because you don’t have to be physically near the monitor to see what’s going on.
Wi-Fi smart air quality monitors provide the most in-depth analysis in regards to pollution measurements and allow you to customize the data in various ways. That’s what makes this type the best home air quality monitor for many people’s needs.
Keep in mind that some Wi-Fi smart air quality monitors are not portable; they must be plugged in at all times in order to work. Many of these devices are designed to stay put in one location without being moved around the home.
Handheld Air Quality Monitors
Handheld air quality monitors are the last type of unit on the market. And they’re some of the most basic monitoring systems available.
As the name suggests, you hold these monitors in your hand to get a reading. They are very portable and do not require wires to plug in for power.
Professional air quality specialists prefer this type of air quality monitor because they can walk around and measure the pollution levels wherever they go. These devices also tend to have simplistic controls and deliver basic readings and analysis for common pollutants.
Features to Look for in a Home Indoor Air Quality Monitor
Unfortunately, not all consumer air quality monitors are as designed with the same technologies and do not give you the same level of precision of pollutant detection.
The air quality monitor you choose needs to give accurate readings for the contaminants and air quality issues you deem to be most important.
For example, one air quality monitor may detect VOCs, CO2, and HCHO, but not PM2.5 which is fine particulate matter that can get into the deep recesses of the lungs.
Alternatively, another air quality monitor may be able to measure PM2.5 but not the level of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the air which are toxic chemicals.
Most air quality monitor brands tend to focus on a small set of pollutants to measure rather than all of them. This is because the more the unit can detect, the more technology has to go into it, and therefore the price increases.
To avoid spending too much on your air quality monitor, you should determine which pollutants are most important for you to detect and choose a monitor that can sense them accurately.
The higher the quality of the monitor you choose, the faster response time you expect from the readings. This is because the sensors tend to be more accurate with higher quality air quality monitors so they can gather important information at a much faster rate.
Another factor that might affect the response time of your air quality monitor are the pollutants you’re monitoring. If the pollutant is particularly dangerous to your health, the response time might be considerably less because the device needs to measure it with the most accuracy.
An example of this is when you’re monitoring carbon monoxide (CO) levels. If the air quality monitor detects a small amount of the gas in the air, then it might inform you after a couple of hours.
However, if there are dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide in the air, then it will notify you within minutes so you can leave the area.
Ease of Use
Depending on your prior experience with air quality monitors, you should find a model that you can use with ease. Some units are best for beginners while others have lots of high-tech features that are better suited for advanced users.
Single or dual-pollutant detectors are some of the easiest monitors to use as they don’t require much effort on your part. You can literally set them up and then quickly read the measurements on the device without any hassles.
Advanced air quality monitors that detect numerous pollutants and give you the option to display the data in numerical or graph form can be overwhelming for some users. However, some people enjoy this added level of granular data when monitoring their home air quality.
Remember that there’s no shame in getting the simple model; it will save you hours of researching how to use all of the complex features that you may not even use.
Although air quality monitors are relatively small in size, they do come in various heights and widths.
When shopping for a good unit, you may want to consider the size and placement of the device.
For example, if you need a portable air quality monitor that can be easily taken from your home to the office, then you’ll want a unit that can fit in your pocket.
On the other hand, if you’re going to place the air quality monitor inside your home to measure the pollutants in your living room, then the size may not even matter to you. So choose the size accordingly.
Expanding on from the previous feature, some people like to use their air quality monitors on job sites or in multiple different locations. If you want to carry your monitor around with you, then you should focus on the size, weight, and shape of the model.
Strangely shaped air quality monitors might be a little difficult to move around as opposed to the rectangular or handheld design you’ll find on the majority of models on the market.
Wi-Fi Smart Control
Wi-Fi smart control air quality monitors are easy to use for beginners and allow you to track the data from your smartphone or tablet.
You don’t necessarily need a monitor that boasts this feature, but the majority of new models do give you this level of control.
To use a Wi-Fi smart air quality monitor, all you need to do is connect the unit to your home’s Internet router so that you can get the data onto your phone. Then inside the proprietary app, you can get insight into the information you’re looking for.
The app will show you the recorded pollution data as it’s recorded over time. Some brands even allow you to set up push notifications to alert you when particular air pollutant levels get too high so that you can make an action plan to remedy it.
Air quality monitors are either battery operated, powered by USB, or get its power from an electrical outlet.
If you wanted a portable monitor to take around with you to different locations, then you should look for a battery-powered air quality monitor or one that recharges through USB.
On the other hand, if the monitor is going to be left in one spot in the house, then you can choose a corded alternative.
Pollutants That an Air Quality Monitor Can Detect
Depending on the type of air quality monitor you buy, it can detect one or more of these various types of pollutants.
Allergens often enter the home from outside, where there are many more pollutants. Pollen, dust, emissions, and smoke are just some of the allergens that can reduce the quality of your air.
Allergens can be bad for your health when breathed in, particularly in large quantities. And an air quality monitor can help you uncover invisible allergens that may be affecting your well-being.
Bacteria and Viruses
Bacteria and viruses can enter your home in several different ways, and when breathed in can make you ill. These pollutants are not always harmful to humans, but it’s better to know whether they’re inside your home or not.
Air quality monitors can be vital in preventing you from getting sick from viruses or bacteria in the air. While some are more difficult to detect than others, you can still be better prepared once knowing the quality of your air.
In rooms with high humidity levels, bacteria and viruses thrive. So if you’re aware of the relative humidity inside your home, then you can look for ways to lower it in order to kill off these microorganisms and pathogens.
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a dangerous gas. It is lethal, yet you cannot taste, smell, or see it. For this reason, it’s important to monitor CO levels if your house includes a fire burning appliance.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “CO levels increase and remain above 70 ppm, symptoms become more noticeable and can include headache, fatigue and nausea. At sustained CO concentrations above 150 to 200 ppm, disorientation, unconsciousness, and death are possible.”
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
An increased amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air will prevent there from being enough oxygen. This can cause breathing problems and difficulties.
Kane International reports that concentrations of CO2 below 1,000 ppm indicated good air exchange is occurring indoors.
Formaldehyde (HCO) is rather common and yet not widely known about. It is a chemical that can be released from daily household supplies and building materials.
Having HCHO in the air can result in several health issues, but only in high concentrations. It’s normally present at low levels (less than 0.03 parts per million) in both indoor and outdoor air.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration states, “the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for formaldehyde in the workplace is 0.75 parts formaldehyde per million parts of air (0.75 ppm) measured as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA).”
Mold spores are an irritating allergen that can affect your health, potentially causing an allergic reaction in some people. Red eyes, rashes, sneezing, and a running nose are common symptoms of inhaling mold spores.
If you or someone in your family has asthma or allergies, an air quality monitor that detects mold spores can be extremely helpful.
Mold spores can promote asthma attacks and uncontrollable allergy symptoms, so keeping your air clear of them can prevent these.
Ground-level ozone (O3), when breathed in, can irritate your lungs and pose a threat to your health.
According to this research, “O3 in residential buildings mainly comes from two sources: outdoor atmosphere and indoor ozone produced by electrical devices.”
So knowing the level of O3 in your home can be important for health and safety.
In this report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires ozone output of indoor medical devices to be no more than 0.05 ppm. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that workers not be exposed to an average concentration of more than 0.10 ppm.”
PM2.5 stands for particle matter that is smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are the most dangerous to your health.
As you can imagine, these pollutants are very small and cannot be seen by the naked eye. Examples of PM2.5 are combustion particles, metals, and organic compounds.
Measuring PM2.5 can be crucial when determining air quality as an increase in exposure can lead to a number of serious health issues: lung damage, cancer, brain disease, heart attack, central nervous system damage, etc.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that anything above 35.5µg/m3 in a 24-hour period is considered too high a level of PM2.5.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States after smoking.
Radon comes from naturally radioactive elements, such as uranium when it breaks down over time. Underground heating and ventilation can speed up this process and allow the gas to get in through the flooring.
Detecting indoor radon and mitigating it is important and a home air quality monitor can help with that.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are very common when it comes to indoor pollution as they are released from the use of many indoor supplies, such as cleaning products and aerosol spray. However, VOCs are also found in paints, sprays, adhesives, building materials, furniture, and other common household items that you may not suspect.
VOCs can be harmful to your health when exposed for short and long periods of time. So it’s good to know the level of VOCs in your home in order to make an action plan to remedy it.
Fortunately, most of the best indoor air quality monitors can detect VOCs
Indoor temperature is always important to know. And an air quality monitor can report this measurement for you.
The correct humidity level is important when it comes to preventing pollutants from taking over your house.
Keeping a relative humidity of 30 to 50% is recommended to prevent mold growth and dust mites from accumulating. Low humidity can also deter bacteria and viruses from surviving inside the home.
Enjoy Your New Indoor Air Quality Monitor
We hope you enjoyed this comprehensive guide on how to choose the best air quality monitor for your home.
As you discovered, a good air quality monitor can detect all sorts of pollutants, including allergens, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, ozone, mold spores, PM2.5, radon, VOCs, and more.
The best indoor air quality monitors also come in a variety of types to meet your specific purpose: portable, handheld, and Wi-Fi enabled.
Hopefully, our air quality monitor reviews made things much more simple for you to pick the right unit for your house. And now that you know what the best home air quality monitors are on the market, you can select the one that fits your needs and budget.